Fashion in the GDR: Of talent, it’s not for lack of


You can see the first pictures and be amazed. A woman in a red trench coat sitting in a cafe. She is wearing green earrings and a white blouse, 1964, in watercolor and chalk painted by the designer Ursula Fehlig. In addition, your pen-and-ink sketches: three slim women in knee-long skirt and boots, a black Cape over the head, alive, young, modern. The fashion designer Sabine Zache presented in 1965, a “lady with hat” in Red, Purple, and turquoise and designed in 1969, with an extremely elegant woman in a red costume, black belt, white scarf and black gloves, a fashion poster for the “Magnet”.

Hannah Bethke

feuilleton correspondent in Berlin.

F. A. Z.

All the fashion graphics from the GDR, developed in the years between 1960 and 1989, issued in the clean Beck halls in Berlin for the first time. Very tasteful fashion, you can see the sketches, drawings and lots of colored graphics. How the designs look when they are stitched and dressed, to show isolated cases of fashion photographs, the inferior in their attractive Aesthetics of the graphics. Nothing here is reminiscent of the stale air of the GDR, none of the repetitiveness and ideological rejection of outer beauty.

socialism did not scoop his talents

“Between appearance and reality” is the name of the exhibition, which was designed by the fashion designer Ute Lindner and, together with the publicists Mathias Bertram and the fashion designer Ulrike Vogt developed. The title plays on the gap between the appearances of the designs of fashion designers of the GDR and the meager offerings in the local Department stores. The “plan of economic regulation and the Lack of suitable materials,” explains the exhibition text, had been a industrial implementation in the way. The real existing socialism, it’s not for lack of talent – he’s not scooped.

It was in the GDR a cadre for the designers: founded in 1952, the “fashion Institute”. It should create in the words of the founding Director, Elli Schmidt, “a clothing that is free from the influences of American non-culture and open-mindedness, and joy of life of our people, in our state of workers and peasants is also an outward expression”. And so the fashion graphics of the sixties, reflect the desire, “to create an appropriate Mode for the new Ideal of self-conscious, working women”. However, even in this ideological structure, as is know in the exhibition, not help but came the fashion designers, and international Trends and to include them in your work. Your effort was in vain. While you could admire your Work in East German fashion magazines such as “sibyl”, manufactured and not sold, but were their designs.

The changed part, as in 1970, the trade Exquisite “operation” was established. Here is the entire work flow “was held by the planning and design process, production, sourcing and logistics through to presentation and sale of over-the-counter” under one roof. The state forced corset settled on this way. And the fashion was see: Tight black pants and red mini skirts presented in the eighties, such as the painter and designer Anne Kranz-Mogel, a black-and-white night of the fashion designer Ulrike Vogt, whose Tuschskizze of a black dress and white ravishing in a black-and-wardrobe-photography is implemented.

boredom with the expressive graphics on

the style characteristic of the majority of society, these designs are likely to not have been the same. At least, they are hardly the usual picture of the aesthetically unappealing clothing culture of the GDR.

And yet the creative power of fashion, let designers not to stop. Strikingly expressive graphics are to be found in the Work from the kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee – the only University in the GDR, where you could study fashion design. The designs of their graduates are colorful, abstract, wildlife to see, Ute Lindner and Karin in the mixed technique of fashion design on the inside. Was inspired this became a design teacher as the designer Eva mosquito or Artur Winter, the artistic Director of “Exquisit”. Boredom comes because.